Edinburgh University Rifle Club rounded off a phenomenal season with a hugely successful weekend at the BUCS Outdoor Championships.
After taking a close third place at the BUCS Indoor Championships and comfortably winning the SSS Outdoor Championships, Edinburgh were hoping to retain the Outdoor title they claimed last year but some exceptional performances from the team meant that even these hopes were surpassed.
In the team of eight event, Edinburgh (Tom Diggle, Chris Gray, Holly Rees-Lay, James Gutteridge, Vicky Carter, Rhys Olley, Lara Muttiah and Emma Sweet) secured victory by the enormous margin of 75 points. This meant Edinburgh retained the BUCS Outdoor Championship trophy for a second year and leaves the club as both Scottish and British Outdoor University champions once again.
Edinburgh’s success, however, was not limited to the main team event. The team of four event, where Edinburgh took second and third place in the 2015-16 season, provided yet more silverware for the EURC trophy cabinet. The A team (Diggle, Gray, Rees-Lay and Gutteridge) took first place to secure another team victory for Edinburgh, comfortably beating closest rivals Newcastle by a total of 14 points.
In the Ladies Triad event, Edinburgh (Rees-Lay, Carter and Sweet) took second place in an all Scottish podium, with Scottish compatriots Glasgow and St Andrews taking first and third respectively. This highlights both the strength and depth of Scottish university rifle shooting and a level of diversity in the competitive teams that any sport would be proud of.
The Pairs event brought Edinburgh further success, with Edinburgh’s top pair Chris Gray and Holly Rees-Lay taking second place, only beaten by Glasgow pair Scott Norval and Olga Goryunova. Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s second pair Tom Diggle and Vicky Carter were unlucky to finish in a narrow fourth place, only missing out on a medal by four points out of a possible 800 to a very experienced Newcastle pairing.
Last, but certainly not least, were the individual competitions where Edinburgh had several excellent performances across the day. Chris Gray, shooting in his final EURC competition, followed up his second place at the SSS Outdoor Championships with a fine fifth place finish in the Men’s Individual competition, while Holly Rees-Lay shot fantastically at her first BUCS Outdoor match to finish fourth in the Ladies Individual.
However, the star performer on the day was first year shooter Tom Diggle who shot phenomenally well throughout his four cards to finish with a total of 776 from a possible 800 points to secure an astonishing first place in the Men’s Individual.
Finally in the traditional Home Countries match – this year contested by English Universities, Scottish Universities and Welsh Universities – Edinburgh were represented in the Scottish team by Chris Gray, Tom Diggle and Holly Rees-Lay. All three shot fine scores to contribute to an excellent Scottish victory, the first for some years.
Overall, an excellent performance and a fine way to round off what has been a spectacular season. With many of the team who contributed to this year’s success still at university next year, the future is looking bright for Edinburgh.
Image courtesy of Edinburgh University Rifle Club